Just over two years ago a friend of mine Kayode Ogundamisi wrote a piece “Are you a Black man? Don’t go to Russia” in which is spoke of the racism experienced by African students in Russia…..
It is a shame that the Russian government is turning a blind eye on the growing level of attacks on foreign students and residents in Russia. Students of the international university in Moscow are the worst victims. I was shown video evidence of acid attacks and knife cuts. One African student, Nigerian Mukaila Odedina remains paralysed from an attack from right wing thugs in front of a Russian police station in Moscow, speaking with Mukaila brought tears to my eyes. He is in his final year and would have been a medical doctor in September 2005 now he cannot even raise a flight ticket back home; all contact with the Nigerian embassy yielded no result.
I remember meeting a Zimbabwean woman in 1990, who was to become a good friend, speaking about her similar experience whilst a student in the Soviet Union. “From Russia With Hate” is a video documentary by Christof Putzel which investigates neo-nazi groups in Russia. It’s bad enough that that racist violence is described as “out of control” but many of the skin heads have support from the government….One member of the Duma is interviewed condoning the violence because the “government is not doing enough [about immigration]” A very disturbing documentary particularly when looked at in the context of the British government’s increasingly anti-immigration rhetoric and accompanying legislation – one suggestion from Russia is to take away the citizenship of Russian women who marry foreigners!